Seasonal Round-Up: Summer
As we sadly say goodbye to warm evenings and fresh mangoes, I wanted to share a few products that I've loved using over the summer, as well as some general ponderings from the past 3 months of sunshine (mostly!) and festivities (only 305 days till Christmas...!)
Let me know if you've tried any of these products and what you're thoughts were, and likewise if summer has given you lessons to learn from...
Face Exfoliator by ESSE. This is the one I am MOST excited about because I love it so much. I have always been hesitant around scrubs because I don't want to rub my skin raw, but this is SO lush. Because of the cocoa and a few other key moisturising ingredients (including coconut and marula oil), my skin is always left feeling soft and smooth - with the added benefit of having actually got rid of the gunk off ma face. I've never been so passionate about a face scrub before, and I'm kicking myself for not taking a before and after pic - because I think in the last few weeks of using it, it's the product that's made a noticeably positive difference to my skin. And then of course I ran out, my skin isn't looking as lovely as before, so naturally I panicked and ordered it immediately from the wonderful girls at Petrichor Day Spa (they do express delivery thank the skin gods). Relieved to have it back in my arms. I love this product and after researching Esse more online, I fell even MORE in love! SO many of their products are infused with probiotics! Organic, fair-trade and ethically-farmed ingredients! All the goodness! A post to come on this brand because it's too good not to share more...
Face Wash by Sodashi. I bought this face wash several months ago from my favourite skin specialists, and it's the best face wash I've used (so far). While I haven't seen noticeable changes in terms of texture or #datglow, it cleared up a few of my breakouts and didn't make me break out further or react to it. Given how sensitive and unpredictable my skin can be, I'll take it! The cleansing but calming sandalwood is a key ingredient for this, plus it smells lovely. Would enjoy using this again in the cooler months, but I've got a few other face washes to try first.
'To Save Face' 50+ Sunscreen by Mecca. This was soooo good for the days I wanted a bit of makeup but was going to be out in the sun a lot, because it doesn't give that strong sunscreeny shine. Aussie made so props to lowering our pollution miles, and the Vitamin E means it's moisturising without being greasy. It goes on really smoothly, and feels lovely. Emily 1, Skin Cancer 0.
Body Exfoliator by Grown Alchemist. A beautiful product for those days when you need more than just soap or body wash (me after every soccer training basically). It's the only body scrub I've found that I don't react to, and instead feel "rejuvenated" (I've quoted this because it's a wanky skincare word but it does genuinely feel like that after using this). I prefer to use this dry - so before I jump in the shower. The combo of peppermint, ylang ylang and geranium smells divine and it doesn't use microbeads!! Too many scrubs still exist on the market that use tiny plastic beads as the exfoliant and thereby causing harm to marine life (if you want to know more about this check out this Wired article). So like the face scrub, this is proof that products can work and not harm the environment!
Gradual Tanning Moisturiser by A Bit Hippy. While I love feeling the sun on my skin, I cannot understand lying out in the sun for hours at peak UV times knowing what we do now about how harmful the rays are to the skin. But I love looking tanned. So while I can still get a nice glow after layering up the sunscreen, I like to maintain it with this. I know some of you are probably thinking that the natural ones don't work, and I was exactly the same until I tried this - not a peep of orangutan vibes in sight. It's the only tanning product I've used that actually works AND I can understand the ingredients list. Plus it's really moisturising and affordable. Plus the company is cruelty-free and Aussie made. Don't let the name put you off! All the plusses from me!!
Aloe Vera by Thursday Plantation. On the rare occasion that I do get burnt, this aloe vera gel is bliss. Let's be honest we've all been fried to the point you could cook an egg on your leg (or not sit down because you forgot to sunscreen your bum... no one else!? K just me then..). This gel has no mineral oils, no lauryl sulphates, no synthetic fragrances and no animal derived ingredients. It is literally just aloe vera in a bottle, as opposed to so many other versions on the market that have a bunch of other unnecessary ingredients added. This one is made in Australia and provides relief without feeding your skin pointless additives.
Summer Reflection: Take a step back
I'm always a bit glum going into autumn because it marks the end of a lot of joy that happens over Christmas and the start of a New Year. Though this isn't the case for everyone, I was very fortunate to be able to spend lots of time with my family and lots of time at the beach, two of my favourite things! So it can be a bit sad to have those times end, but got me thinking about my priorities for the year ahead. Time away can give us a clearer perspective on the things and people that are a part of our daily world, and where we give our energy. There were a lot of ups and downs for me last year, and one of the many wonderful benefits about hindsight is you can see why the downs were downs, and the ups were ups. If something awesome happened last year, we can probably see now why that was - maybe we were with our favourite people, maybe it was because we were doing something we really love or are passionate about, maybe it was something we've wanted to achieve for a long time, or a mixture of all of these. Likewise with the downer moments, it's clearer now what the cause of those times might have been.
Focusing on the things that really matter to us becomes a tool for clarifying the areas of our lives that we might be too invested in and not receiving positive energy back from. I love this quote - "How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives" (Annie Dillard). It's a wise and gentle reminder. Taking a step back in a world that is constantly trying to propel us forward (to what, really!?) gives us the opportunity to reflect on what really matters to us. It means we can get back to enjoying things for fun that perhaps previously, we had lost sight of. Instead of clinging tightly to what we think we know, we can learn to be more present in the moment, and open to the way our lives will unfold.